What your manual says is wrong, and can ultimately lead to power loss or even a broken engine. Your manual advice easy break in, staying below a specific amount of RPM’s for a certain amount of miles. But what should really do, is run it hard. At least that is what the MotoMan – break in secrets guide tells you.

The guide is very well written, and provides photo documented proof of the method. The image below shows two pistons; the right one is from an engine broken in by the MotoMan method, the other with clear signs of oil and gas slipping past the piston rings is broken in as your manual suggests. Scary isn’t it? Question is; do you dare do the exact opposite of what’s in your manual?. Apparently there’s no in between, and you have to do it straight from the dealer, so there’s no turning back.
Motorcycle engine break in

Read MotoMan’s full guide to breaking in your engine here.

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100 Responses to “How to break in your new motorcycle – the proper way”

  1. brandon  May 2nd

    i have an rm 85 2004 model and its not giving me all the power

  2. brandon  May 2nd

    can any one tell me whats wrong with it please thanks

  3. mark  May 11th

    Can this method be used on 100cc motorcycle? here in south east asia 100 – 150cc underbones are the most common motorcycles.

  4. Mj08Busa  May 17th

    i had an 06 busa broke it following the manual and it just didnt have the power i expected. i now have an 08 busa and its being broken the motoman way…

  5. Dave  July 9th

    Thank you Mark and “friends from S&S”. I’m about to break in a new bike and your post was a real education.

  6. rafael_vcious  July 20th

    my mc is a honda 100r and as soon as the mechanics done changing my block to 125cc they test it, and they did a hard break in for about 1km or so and then i did drove my bike i started driving it slowly.,.will that 1km or so hard break in driving damage my piston rings already?tnx for the reply.,.

  7. DJ KGB  August 31st

    Think about it. You go with the motomouth brake in method. Your bike seems to be running in fine. reving great pulling fast at lights leaving traffic behind…..
    Then some 1 pull out in front of you from say a side road. you pull brakes and although they are slowing you down you some how still hit this car, why?
    Well the breakin is mainly about your engine. But is also about bedding in your breaks and tyre’s ect. With the motormouth method, yes you may have a super smooth engine after 100miles or so. But your brakes are not fully bedded. So stopping at fast speeds or any speed will not be as good, as it will be after, a controversial method.

  8. Jesper  September 1st

    I’m sorry but I thank that’s a bit far fetched, DJ KGB.

    That’s sort of like blaming the break in method for running out of gas because you didn’t fill it up.

    There’s plenty of things you need to take care of when riding a motorcycle. One of them is breaking in new break pads. Just as you need to go easy on new tires etc.

  9. DJ KGB  September 1st

    Yes you are right Jesper. That comment is really for a noob. who just wants to go fast and not learn how the bike really handle’s and has nothing really to do with this topic.

    After doing more google search’s. I now think Motomans way is some what better, but must be done right.
    As in do not ride it like you just stole it,

  10. Dawid  September 3rd

    Motormouth running in which is not as per the manual, is also a means by which the warranty can be voided by the manufacturer. They extract the ECU (I think..) and determine whether you followed their instructions or not. If NOT and your bike happens to have any motor issues later, they will not cover it under warranty.

    You choose. It is your money after all..

  11. Scott  September 27th

    Those of you who say don’t rev the bike above 4 grand, follow the manufacturers recomendations. Do you know what they do as soon as it rolls off the assembly line?

    Put it on a dyno and rev the sh!t out of it. Yep

    No one is saying that you need to beat the crap out of the engine. What they are saying is accelerate though the rev range. Make those rings do their job.

  12. Todd  October 8th

    There is sooo much rumor and misinformation among the motorcycling population. When I was rebuilding engines back in the 60’s and 70’s the ring manufacturer which I used at the time, Perfect Circle, had a little note packed inside with the rings. It said to go out and do half a dozen 0 to 60 full throttle runs before delivery of the newly rebuilt engine to the customer. The motorcycle manufacturers cannot be recommending such things in this litigious society, and that is what it’s all about.

  13. Paul  October 8th

    It’s not good to just baby your bike until the specs tell you the break in period is over. I’ve had several bikes to break in and hands down the GP moto style break in is the best. Never had any issues. There’s a harley dealer in my area that will even put your bike on the dyno and break it in for you using the moto method. I would have to say that breaking your bike in using the stock method would only be beneficial to a conservative rider who will never get ahold of the power band. Oh and change your oil after 500 miles! And brush your teeth!

  14. Sam U  November 2nd

    This is bullshit. Riding the motorbike fast from the onset is a risk for the engine, because no motorcycle company in the world gets all their piston machining and cutting done without some mechanical tolerances.

    That’s why they advise people to ride new motorbikes at low speed where those tolerances disappear through friction and grinding after around 600 km.

    If you ride hard during the initial part of your motorcycle’s life, your fuel consumption could increase, and piston slipperage could also increase. Basically, your engine could get fuked.

    Another thing to remember: use your new motorbike alot during the warranty period, cos if there are any bugs in the motorbike, you can detect them quickly. If you ride your motorbike too fast during the initial period, you will create your own engine problems, which will start to appear after the warranty period.

    P.S.: Don’t believe the bullshit on this page.

  15. fresh man  December 11th

    Help me, i am a black dude a first timer, love bikes,
    i am thinking of getting one,
    a cheap one like a Hyosung 250GTR
    i am afraid to go any higer, what should i do…? bikes are not that big a deal with Blacks, but i am sh#!ing my pants about the idea

  16. yami09r1  December 31st

    i recently bought a 2009 r1.its got about 450mi on it and for the most part ive followed instructions based on the manual.except any die hard biker like myself cant resist a f!cking r1s raw power.so yea ive maybe had it up to 7000rpm going through the gears 0-80ish.but i havent done it till recently around 400mi for the first time.will it hurt to sometimes do this now that the motor is getting closer to broken in??? and when can i finally feel the full out raw power without risking my motor or my warranty??? im just sooo excited and ready to go balls to the walls hahaha!!! ive raced yz250f and yz450f for years and its scary how fast this bike is at ONLY up to 6000rpm at acceleration wise and(80mph at 6000rpm) i still have 8000rpm to go LMFAO!!! 2009 Raven R1(flushmount LEDs,tinted double bubble,LED integrated smoked tail light,tag eliminator,GYTR frame sliders,full titanium graves carbon fiber exhaust no cats,graves smog eliminator,k&n filter,bazzaz fuel injection tunner) YAMAHA RULES!!!

  17. rob  March 9th

    crap. still dont know what to do .moto man or manual.

    ill get a cion and flip it

  18. rob  March 9th

    crap. still dont know what to do .moto man or manual.

    ill get a coin and flip it

  19. V-Star Warrior  March 31st

    I just got a 09 v star 650 and I have ridden it around my block and stuff. I have gotten on the throttle pretty hard but not through a number of gears, and I havent been using hard engine breaking. I now have 21.6 miles on it. Is it to late for me to start using this method?

  20. Jesper  March 31st

    I don’t know, but I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Since the V-Star is not a race bike anyway. Just enjoy your cruising.

  21. V-Star Warrior  April 1st

    cool thanx for the info I just didnt know if I had messed up the piston rings by keeping it slow and steady and just making sure I hit all rpm ranges

  22. Dimitris  April 9th

    I literally read all the comments on this page, and of course the break-in method that this website suggests.

    I am going to pick up my Honda CBR 125R from the dealer in an hour or so, and I figured this page out like 40′ ago.

    I must admit I am a bit confused, don’t know which method to break-in my new 125. I’ve had one more bike that I broke in but I didn’t keep it too long, sold it after 4000 km.

    Last time, I tried the manual way up to 700-750 km, after that I had people ride in the back and drove it the way I normally drive. I had no problems (of course, I didn’t keep it too long), and the bike seemed just fine.

    To be frank, I don’t even know half the things several people mention in here, but I think I’ll try and do something in between. I’ll avoid keeping the same rpms and gears for a long period of time, and I’m going to try and speed the bike every once in a while.

    I am going to try and do my first 1000 km on the freeway mostly and less in the city.

    Wish me luck, and thank you for the method, advice and tips anyway!

    Dimitris.

  23. health  May 23rd

    I am doing the same thing 😉
    because I am newb

  24. gregory house  May 26th

    i dont believe bieng harsh on the engine is a good idea in the long run.

  25. Pamy Davis  May 27th

    Love this article and all things YZ450, but cant see many comments. Any hoo great stuff. Ill pass this on to a friend or two, thanks for this.

  26. Ivo  July 11th

    If this was true and posed such a risk to future engine performance/life the manufacturer would just do what motoman suggests in-factory! This would not risk anyone’s life and would grantee max engine performance/life from their engine’s…..

    This MAY have some logic for race engines where tolerances are WAY tighter and engins are made to last a few races, but not for assembly line engines…..

    Don’t do this.

  27. Dan White  October 17th

    I’m not so sure about the hard break-in. My last bike was a 2009 Suzuki GZ250 which I rode home from the dealer. After it was warmed up good, I got it up to 60 which is winding for that little engine. Just before I got home, I heard a lound knocking sound. I can’t say what that was, but it couldn’t be good, right? Anyway, it went away and ran fine, although I traded it in for a 2009 Vulcan 500 last week. I have had it up to 70, but for the Vulcan that might be more like 50 for the smaller bike. Anyway, there has been no engine knocking.

  28. george bush  November 27th

    steve johnson is an idiot.. you think you get a warranty on your bike?? i’m sorry, its warranty on parts..i.e. hardware.. not getting performance or fuel mileage is the main things and that’s frustrate the shit outta ya and you, can’t do anything about it
    you don’t have a warranty or guarantee if you get shit like performance both power/speed and mileage.
    ya you may get a new mirror that too if its manufacturer’s fault not if if met with accident
    and that’s the truth.. the whole truth

  29. george bush  November 27th

    oh ya one thing.. I george bush am an idiot..i m such a racist bastard. i hate everyone that lives outside USA and everyone who doesn’t look like me on dis planet.. ya come screw me cum.. i m supporting ppl to be such a racist bastard like all US marine army navy airforce FBI etc

  30. Better Diet Products  December 4th

    this page was the things i’ve been looking regarding! I found this blog bookmarked on a friend of mine. i may also share it. kudos again!

  31. upgrade from 05 to a brand new 2010 yesterday! - ZX6R.NET  December 31st

    […] Bro, just ride the shit out of it. You need to read these articles and read it all. You will only be screwing something if you do it by the book. Just make sure you warm your bike up first. Read please: Break In Secrets–How To Break In New Motorcycle and Car Engines For More Power How to break in your new motorcycle – the proper way | Helmet Hair – Motorcycle Blog […]

  32. gg  January 15th

    Just had my old Honda GL 100cc bored out to 125 here in Vietnam-told to wear in the traditional way: bike performing like it has a fuelk problem, could this be in part to the new piston?

  33. Terence Krzeminski  March 8th

    Hey! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Cheers

  34. Alexandria Trepagnier  March 8th

    Hi there are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you require any html coding expertise to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

  35. Nick  April 1st

    After reading motoman’s method I took a used bike out for a test ride, took off slowly, and yanked the throttle wide open and slowed down using the brakes so that I wouldn’t be caught speeding, repeating this several times. After reading motoman’s method again I realize how silly this was!

  36. buls  June 2nd

    manual or motoman any of this r ok its up 2 u wat u like

  37. buls  June 2nd

    moto man or manual ok fine just choose wat u like

  38. Kurt  June 3rd

    THE BEST ADVICE IN ALL THESE POSTS SO FAR! Break in your bike as if you are not-breaking it in. Ride it NORMALLY, except don’t keep it at the same rpm or on the same gear for too long. This will insure long-lasting life of your engine and pistons. If your only planning to race with it and like replacing your bikes after a year or two, use motomans way. If not, use mine.

  39. joely  June 13th

    just got a kawazaki ninja 250r, im 17 and fancy myself as a little boy racer, obviously i want to rev the nuts off the nippy fucker but am scared il kill the thing. thinking about taking it easy majority of the time and giving it the odd hard squirt every now and again, im just not amazingly experienced and with all these comments disagreeing with eachother im not sure what to do

  40. treetrimmerguy  June 21st

    I just bought a new Ninja 1000. My bike is my second vehicle. My wife drives the car, and I have nothing else but the bike to get me from point a to b. The manual says to keep it under 4000rpm for the first 600 miles. I’ve tried to stick to it for the most part. I put 500 miles on it in the first 2 days. So far my chosen break in method is to just take it easy on the rpm’s and never drive it for a long period in the same gear. For the first 500 miles I’ve done mostly city driving, and keep going up and down on the tach. Only twice have I gone close to 8000rpm, but don’t want to push it. This is my fourth sport bike since 1998, and all of my engines have had plenty of power and longevity.

  41. Rob k9  July 4th

    This method was made to fuck up ur engine i done it the motoman way it made my kawa ninja 1k blow up jate moto mans method do ot the manual way or ride it normally they also rebuild engine hence why motoman want you to rag your bike to kill it faster patjetic bbrake in method manual for the win

  42. José Jiménez  July 9th

    Guess all the motorcycle and car mfg’s are wrong. Took a course from a motorcycle mechanic once and he said city driving for first 600 mi works best. Short trips were you accelerate, slow down, turn off engine, its the heat up cool down cycles that allow the rings to seat properly. Gradually increase the acceleration through the period staying within mfg’s guide lines. After 600 mi you can start to open it up a bit more without pushing it to the max till about 1,000 mi. Every motor I have had new was broken in this way and they all lasted, didn’t burn oil.

  43. greg  October 27th

    I just got a cbr250r with abs and I’m breaking it in MOTO way. got 15mile on it and it is really pulling faster and smoother then my brothers cbr250r with 100miles on it he”s breaking it in slow 5 ,6, 7 rpm .. I guess will see which one will last ..

  44. 129CBRider  November 20th

    I’ve found it best to let them rev freely to near redline at least once every ride but with very little throttle opening.

    That way you don’t load up the rings but allow them smoothly and lightly hone themselves to the bore.

    What you don’t want to do is pull from low rpm’s with WTO…this is what scars the cylinder, makes the rings out of round and created hot spots on the walls of the bore where later fuel will get by them and shorte oil life.

  45. peterd  December 31st

    motorcycle mechanic 22yrs i have run in 2 stroke and 4stroke bike the manufactures way and they do suffer from incorrect ring sealing motoman is very correct 14 of my own bikes have been run in motoman way and no problems and the power is so much more.
    dont be scared…what do you think by running your engine in slowly that all the connecting parts will have less chance of falling apart? the average joe that is not very mechanically minded will never understand the motoman method.

  46. Hednsm  January 3rd

    I run in all my engines this way, hard and fast, no need to lead them into a false sense of security. I’ve purchased a 2010 zx6r with 1400kms on the clock but it won’t break 205kph, hits that at 12,000 in 5th, won’t budge over, even clicking into 6th she won’t move? Any suggestions? Trying to get her looked at but the place I brought it from basically said its not their problem

  47. Trundle  January 17th

    Used moto’s break in. Thing is you DO NOT run it like you stole it. You warm her up, run her gently at first. Cool her off. Run her harder, and then run her harder again. It’s not 1-6 redline at 0 miles, then hit the kill switch and walk away. There are steps to follow. AND CHANGE YOUR OIL

  48. GRM  March 6th

    Way back in the 1970s General Motors (Oldsmobile) sponsored me for an auto mechanics course at their facility in Cleveland, Ohio. During the course, engine break-in was discussed. New engines, fresh off the assembly line, were set in the dyno and revved to 60-80% of redline UNDER HEAVY LOAD to seat the rings. Then allowed to coast down, with no dyno brake, to 20-40% of redline several times. A few hard pulls followed to make sure they put out the advertised power. They survived just fine.

    The break-in described in the factory manuals is for – are ya ready for this – the REAR END, with minor attention going to the transmission and brakes. It is written that way because no one would believe a rear gear needs a break-in procedure. Everyone “knows” an engine does.

    So, with a new car, to speed the process, run the car 30 minutes, let the rear gear cool off completely, then do it a couple more times and you are good to go. No need to follow the lengthy break-in procedure. Read any installation instructions from an aftermarket gearset and it will be similar to this.

    With a replacement engine, follow MotoMan’s procedure, but I recommend 1 change. Don’t use 2nd gear. The engine revs too fast. You will get a better ring load in the higher gears.

    Also, in the dyno part, he states, “The engine vacuum created during closed throttle deceleration sucks the excess oil and metal off the cylinder walls.” While partially true, the high vacuum ALSO pulls oil past the rings and into/onto the cylinder and piston, cooling and lubricating the cylinder for the next acceleration cycle. VERY IMPORTANT!

    Other then those minor points, an excellent article. He knows what he is talking about.

  49. Little d  March 25th

    Hey GRM – what do you mean by ‘rear end’ exactly?

  50. GRM  October 20th

    @ little d:

    Was referring to the differential in a rear wheel drive car AKA “rear end.”

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